Chapter 6
  1. Success Over Stress

168. Slow Down!

Most people expect too much of themselves. Attempts to accomplish too much in a short period of time causes lots of unnecessary stress. The result is something doctors call hurry sickness, a constant state of rushing around trying to meet an endless line-up of self-imposed deadlines. Stress is the inevitable by-product of this frenetic level of activity.

Here’s how to turn your activity meter to “slow” instead of “go.”

  1. Leave your wristwatch at home on days you don’t absolutely have to be somewhere on time.

  2. Practice doing one thing at a time instead of two or three things at once (like talking on the phone and reading your mail).

  3. Make a deliberate effort to speak more slowly. Don’t cut other people off in midsentence.

  4. Walk at a slow, steady pace, not a racewalker’s clip.

  5. Smile and greet people instead of occupying your thoughts with where you’re headed or what you’re going to do next.

  6. Drive no faster than the posted speed limit.

  7. Get used to waiting in line without getting agitated.

  8. Allow a buffer zone of 15 minutes between appointments, to give your brain and body some stress-free “breathing space.”

  9. Schedule some free time into every day. It’s not a waste of time to rest and do nothing.

  10. Take time to “smell the roses”—that is, to notice beauty and appreciate the little things in life.